Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What the... ??

You may have noticed that we didn't include links to the USCHO recaps in the link dump that comes at the end of the weekend wraps. There's a reason for that. In the case of the Niagara game, there just wasn't one. But in the case of the RIT game... wow. It was so god-awful that I had to spare the casual reader from encountering it. It was so bad, in fact, that it requires a fisking... but I'll try to minimize the exposure. If you really want to see it, here it is. We are not responsible for seizures or strokes caused by reading this moronic screed.

Let's start at the top. Holy paragraphic headlines, Batman.

RPI continues to roll; tops cross-state engineering rival RIT in front of surprisingly large crowd

Buh? Yes that's 15 words (16 if you include "cross" and "state" as being separate) in a headline. Now, in the internet age, short headlines aren't necessarily a requirement - headlines have always been meant to be concise in print to grab a reader's attention - but this is really a bridge too far. That's almost the first sentence right there. A better answer would have been to leave it as "RPI continues to roll," and if you HAD to, make a sub-head with the rest of it.

It gets worse, though.

We won't reprint all of it, but in a game recap, the author manages to spend the first SEVEN paragraphs talking about attendance at Houston Field House and the fact that the Yankees were playing Texas in Game 6 of the ALCS at the same time.

At some point, the reader has to start asking himself... is this a game recap, or a commentary on crowd size?

The author does include the score relatively early on, but only in passing and in the THIRD paragraph.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute defeated the Rochester Institute of Technology 4–1 and joined Union, who defeated Niagara, in making it a sweep for two ECAC clubs from the capital district over two Atlantic Hockey sides from western New York on Friday.

Uh... first, why is the Union game relevant here? If someone wants to learn about the Union game, they can check out Dan Greene's recap, or even better, pick up the Gazette in the morning and read King Ken's words of wisdom. Second... "Capital District," of course, is a proper noun.

From there, it's more inane commentary on how many people were in the stands. This should have been either part of a sidebar commentary, or part of its own article. If someone's looking for information about the game, they have to read down quite a ways to get to it. I fell asleep in the fifth paragraph or so.

As an addendum, RIT's Chris Lerch - who was at the game broadcasting for WITR-FM - commented on the article that he thought the Field House looked "half full." But we can at least understand where he's coming from on that one. He was standing up on the catwalk during the game, and the only part of the stands you can see from that vantage point is the south side, AKA the library side, which was maybe only 3/4 full and dead as a doornail as is their norm. The north side, which was packed on Friday night, isn't visible from the catwalk. With no band on the non-existent stage to the east and the colorless construction zone (with no seating yet) filling up the west, Mr. Lerch can absolutely be excused for thinking that the Field House looked empty, especially considering that A) he had just broadcast a game from a building with 10,000 people in it the previous week and B) RIT's rink is so small and their tickets so coveted that they tend to jam it completely full (and more so) every night.

But the author of this piece, presumably sitting in the press box, didn't have that problem.

Seth Appert is actually the one who segues into actually talking about the game through his own words, but then the author drops this one:

One of those collisions was started by Chase Polacek only three and a half minutes into the game when he threw a monster hip-check on Jeff Smith right in front of his own bench, charging his teammates and the student section up in the process.

Or John Kennedy. One of the two. They're easy to mix-up, of course. One's a defenseman, one's a forward. One's 6'0" 205, the other's 5'8" 190. One's known for big hits, one's known for scoring goals. One is black, one is white. Oh, I know! They're both seniors. That must have been it.

The next thing to talk about, naturally, was this:

Polacek later continued his pursuit of a second consecutive nomination as a Hobey Baker finalist when he assisted on Rensselaer’s third goal at 15:46 of the second.

Um... what happened to the other two goals? They must not have been terribly important. But I'm glad to know that the Hobey Baker committee is going to say "boy, remember that assist he had against RIT in October? That was a big step right there." That's about as dumb as trying to sneak weed into a courthouse.

The main offensive story of the night

Not mentioned until the 12th paragraph...

was RPI freshman Brock Higgs breaking through and scoring his first two collegiate goals, each breaking a tie to put RPI ahead.

Yes, the first, of course, breaking that all so rare 0-0 tie in the first period.

The author actually does a decent job describing the goals of the game, but it got worse otherwise.

RIT coach Wayne Wilson was unhappy enough with his team’s performance to have them doing calisthenics drills in the public corridor outside their locker room as soon as they had shed their gear.

Yeah, because anyone who's ever milled about five minutes after a game has never seen a team, win, lose, or draw, doing calisthenics drills in the hallways. Wilson was obviously punishing them. Or maybe they had a game the next night and needed to make sure they weren't cramped up for it. That seems possible too, I don't know.

For those who are thinking and saying that RIT is not playing with the swagger and confidence of a program coming off its first Frozen Four appearance, remember that the Tigers started their 2009-10 campaign with five straight losses before dropping only six more the rest of the regular season.

Who is "thinking or saying" this instead of saying "where's the game recap?"

The author finishes... sort of... with the words of Coach Appert.

I haven’t made any decisions on that over the next couple of [non-conference] games, but at some point with what Bryce means to our program, he deserves an opportunity to get

And that's it! Good night from Houston Field House!

This guy is a "contributing editor." Scary.

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